Friday, August 2, 2013


Kipawa Lake is located along the Ontario/Quebec border North of Ottawa and East of North Bay. It is the headwaters for Lake Temiscaming as well as the Ottawa River. It is a vast body of water with over 900 km of natural shoreline. A moratorium on development was imposed in the 1980s allowing Kipawa to remain a pristine wilderness area with road access within a one day drive of the GTA, Ottawa, Montreal and other major centers. Tourists travel from all over the world to enjoy the beauty and serenity of this region, to hunt, fish, canoe, kayak and vacation.  The land has a rich cultural and historical significance to the local Algonquin First Nations who still inhabit the region and rely on hunting and fishing.  Unfortunately, this could all change and soon, plans are in place to lift the moratorium and allow development on Kipawa’s shores that will irreversibly and forever destroy this natural paradise. Proposed development includes a rare earth mine project by Matamec Explorations Inc. No rare earth element mine has operated in the world without significant damage to the environment and human health. Canada’s Environmental Laws while more stringent than many other countries were not written with this type of project in mind. Should this project be allowed to proceed it will be the first of its kind in Canada and our environmental laws are not sufficient to protect this vulnerable wilderness area. Rare earth mining has the ability to release radioactive isotopes, heavy metals and other contaminants that would not only be detrimental to the health of the environment, aquatic and terrestrial organisms but that would also render the water unsafe to drink, the wild plants, fish and wild game unsafe to eat and the air unsafe to breathe. The health effects on the local population would be many including chronic illness and elevated cancer rates.  Allowing industrial development on Kipawa Lake will provide a short term economic gain while protecting the region from development will allow Canadians to experience the natural beauty of this region, escape from the city to reconnect with nature and allow First Nations to continue their traditional way of life for generations to come – this is priceless. Time is running out but it is not too late. We must act fast to save Kipawa Lake.

What you can do to help:

***NEW - APART (association pour l’avenir des ressources témiscamiennes) has started a paper petition asking the Quebec government for the Kipawa Rare Earths project to undergo a provincial environmental impact assessment (BAPE) please print and collect signatures and then return to APART address provided on petition Currently the project does not have to submit to the provincial environmental impact assessment as approximately 4000 tonnes of ore are expected to be extracted per day, to trigger a BAPE the project would have to be extracting over 7000 tonnes per day. The environmental and human health risks are the same regardless of the volume extracted each day. This is a legal loop hole. Matamec was asked to voluntarily submit to the BAPE, they said no. Help hold this company accountable help us appeal to the government so that they have to take part in a BAPE***

***NEW - we now have an official government paper petition to address rare earth mining in Kipawa. Please print, collect signatures and return original to Elizabeth May of the Green Party of Canada postage is free English Version French Version ***

2.       ‘Like’ Save Kipawa Lake on Facebook  and visit to learn more about these threats.

3.       Write letters to the decision makers (Martine Oulette, Leona Aglukkaq and Yves-Francois Blanchet). In your letter be sure to tell them your personal story, why Kipawa Lake is important to you and your family, send photos of Kipawa Lake so the decision makers will have a better idea of what we are at risk of losing. If you are a tourist (even from outside of Canada) be sure to include how long you’ve been visiting the area and how much you spent on your vacations. This will help show how important tourism is to the local economy as well as the economy of Canada. Once you’ve written your letter please email us to let us know you’ve sent a letter. See addresses below.

Write to the Minister of Natural Resources, Quebec asking to keep the moratorium in place and not allow development, especially mining, on Kipawa’s shores

Martine Ouellette
Ministère des Ressources naturelles                                                                                                                  
5700, 4e Avenue Ouest
Bureau A 301
Québec (Quebec)  G1H 6R1
Fax: 418-643-4318

To put a stop to mining near Kipawa please send letters requesting that the Kipawa Rare Earths Project by Matamec Explorations Inc. not be allowed to proceed, tell them that the project is not socially acceptable in the region and that it should be subject to a BAPE (évaluation du Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement) environmental evaluation to provide more opportunity for public input and evaluation of potential risks. Ask that a moratorium on mining exploration and development be put in place on Kipawa Lake to protect it for the enjoyment of future generations and to preserve the way of life of the local Algonquin First Nations. Letters should be sent to:

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Minister of the Environment
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
10 Wellington Street, 28th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Fax: 819-953-0279


Yves-François Blanchet
Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs
Édifice Marie-Guyart
675, boul. René-Lévesque Est, 30e étage
Québec (Quebec)  G1R  5V7
Fax: 418-643-4143